I think each year of my life goes by just a tad bit quicker than the last. Really, it feels like just a couple months ago that I turned 33, and here I have just celebrated yet another birthday. I would like to say that I am not only a year older, but a little wiser too. I’m sure I am in a couple of ways. Other times…eh, not so much. I still do a number of stupid and/or unwise things on a daily basis. However, I have learned (and in some cases relearned) a few new things in my 34th year:
1. Getting up before my children really is worth it. Even if they are all early risers. I have found myself sharing this one with newer moms and they sometimes look at me like I’m crazy. Now granted, I don’t always practice what I preach, but when I am diligent about this one it does pay off. Even having a mere 10-20 minutes of quiet makes a huge difference in my attitude for the day. I am rarely up burning the midnight oil, so getting enough sleep isn’t usually an issue right now. (By the way, I also tell newer moms to get their kids on a schedule of going to bed early!)
2. Don’t ignore a toothache. Or don’t skip going to the dentist for much longer than acceptable. I could never understand people’s apprehension about going to the dentist–that is, until I skipped going for years and ended up having a bad experience. Not only did I have my first cavity ever, but it turned into a root canal. I think I was white-knuckled during the whole thing and came home more than a little bit traumatized.
3. I am still capable of memorizing scripture, therefore I have no excuse not to. Even though my brain felt like a big mush-ball for the past almost 11 years. I was challenged to memorize the Book of James a couple months ago, and to my great surprise, was able to pull it off.
4. I learned how to knit. Actually, I did a little how-to series on this back in January, sharing what I learned as I went. It was very relaxing and enjoyable.
5. Taking time to exercise is always worth it. I am a big fan of exercise (even when it’s not fun) and can always feel a difference when I’m not being diligent with this. There’s way too many benefits to it not to take the time to exercise. Believe me, I am usually much happier, healthier, sleep better, eat better, and look better when I do it.
6. No matter what season of life you’re in, God can still use you. It doesn’t matter if you’re elbow-deep in taking care of infants and toddlers or you are beyond retirement. If you’re still alive and kicking, God still has a specific purpose for you and you only for this season of life.
7. Staying home with my kids has been a gift. Sure, there have been days and weeks when they made me crazy and I was wishing for a job instead of being on the homefront. However, since my kids are soon going to all be in school (I just registered my twins for kindergarten), I have to say that I’m thankful for all the years I have had with them at home. There’s so much I would have missed out on had I shipped them off to childcare every day and worked. As the expression goes, “the days are long but the years are short.” How true it is, and I don’t regret staying home one bit. By the way, I am totally not judging moms who work outside the home, so please don’t think I am!
8. I have a huge impact on my kids. This one’s sort of a no-brainer since I am their mother. However, sometimes they will say and do something that I know originated with something I have said and done. Sometimes this is a good thing and is completely humbling. Other times it’s not so good and I am kicking myself.
9. I have a huge impact on my spouse. Again, whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing. My words and actions can have the power to build him up or they can have the opposite effect. (To all the wives out there, this is true for you as well.) Just recently we unintentionally overheard a cell phone conversation where a wife was completely disrespectful and nasty to her husband. My man told me later that he appreciated how I’ve never spoken to him in that way. I’m by no means a perfect wife and have my own set of faults, but this has really come to my attention more lately.
10. If I don’t write something down, it’s probable that I will forget it. I’m not sure if this has happened more with age or just the fact that my family has many more things that I have to keep track of. Yes, I realize that this contradicts #3, but it’s totally true. Just as a funny aside, while I was memorizing James I went to pay for something with a debit card and drew a complete blank as to what my PIN # was, even though it’s been the same for years. I was so embarrassed! I guess I had way too many things on the brain.